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Monday, January 18 2010

The Life Aquatic With Ihsahn

The former Emperor frontman feels liberated, having completed a superb new solo album while coming to terms with the ever-looming shadow of his old band.


Sunday, January 17 2010

Top 10 Global Albums of 2009

The top 10 "world music" CDs of 2009, stretching from Africa and the French Caribbean to New Zealand and Brooklyn.


Tuesday, January 12 2010

The 411 on R&B

A new decade promises to bring fresh sounds and renewed vigor to R&B. Let's hope it keeps its promise.


Monday, January 11 2010

Overlooked Jazz Gems of 2009

The year 2009 was a such a good one for jazz that even some music that had been neglected stands out as stellar. Layman catches up with music he never should have missed.


Tuesday, December 15 2009

Reviewing Jazz of 2009: Wherefore Art Thou, Blue Note?

The best jazz of 2009 did not come, even a little bit, from the storied "major labels" of jazz. What happened to Blue Note and Verve this year?


Monday, December 14 2009

I Still Love H.E.R. (And So Should Everyone Else)

One surprisingly successful technique for converting hip-hop haters and deepening the existing fan's love for the culture is to expose them to "old school hip-hop".


Sunday, December 13 2009

Troublemakers: Adam Lambert and Will Phillips

Adam Lambert and Will Phillips have a lot in common. Both have publically pushed boundaries of what is deemed socially allowable.


Thursday, December 10 2009

The Best Metal Albums of 2009

It seems every year I say it, but this year it's truer than ever: this was one hell of a year for metal. If you think the Mastodon record is good (which it is) just wait 'til you hear this list’s top three.


Matt Pike Don’t Need No Stinking Shirt

High on Fire encapsulate everything metal should be: aggressive, epic, and uncompromising; its lead man's very being cries out “Seek and Destroy”.


Tuesday, December 8 2009

The Music That Matters: Ralph Rinzler and Bill Monroe, Part Two

During the height of his career, Bill Monroe fielded a baseball team that would organize pickup games in each town in order to drum up publicity for that evening's concert.


Thursday, December 3 2009

On the Sixth Day God Created Man…chester, Part Four.

Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.


Monday, November 30 2009

Bela and Boban in Budapest

The first phrase to learn in Budapest has to be "Maga sokkal jobban tud angolul, mint én magyarul", or “Your English is far better than my Hungarian.”


Monday, November 23 2009

Spinach and Broccoli Music: An Interview with Composer and Drummer John Hollenbeck

John Hollenbeck recombines the familiar in compositions that are startlingly new. His new Eternal Interlude is among the best jazz of 2009. Here, he explains his quirky, fresh methods.


Tuesday, November 17 2009

Dimensional Walls Getting Thinner: The Collective Minds of Krallice

What started out a back-to-basics project has turned into one of the coolest, most forward-thinking American metal bands of this decade.


Monday, November 16 2009

Hip-Hop & the Contrast Principle

Hip-hop, as a culture and a musical genre, moves at lightning speed. Keeping up requires an awareness of our expectations and a willingness to revisit our assumptions.


Thursday, November 5 2009

Metal, Back from Purgatory

The Rockist attends his most eagerly anticipated metal show in over a decade only to find... the Banana Splits?


Tuesday, November 3 2009

The Music That Matters Part One: Bill Monroe and Ralph Rinzler

In the late '30s and '40s, Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys were the biggest stars in country music, but when he appeared onstage at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, he did so after a number of years spent toiling in relative obscurity.


Sunday, November 1 2009

Keeping Some Dirt Under the Grass: John Hartford and the Roots of Newgrass

At a time when country music was shining like a new dime, John Hartford and his collaborators were digging into old time music to find something new.


Wednesday, October 21 2009

Is there Virtue in Virtuosity?

Two recent releases by leading saxophonists Chris Potter and James Carter raise the question of the utility—or the misuses—of virtuosity in jazz.


Tuesday, October 20 2009

Bluegrass Grows in Brooklyn

The Five Deadly Venoms are leading the charge of a thriving bluegrass scene in Brooklyn.


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